How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?

iGen.Live
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Hugo. Katrina. Sandy. Rita. Ivan. These names strike fear into the hearts of anyone who was in their path. They are, of course, names of some of the most dangerous hurricanes and in the last 30 years.

But how are these storms named? Is it completely arbitrary? Do world events and politics play some sort of role? Are they named after specific people? Hopefully this article help shed some light on the process of naming a storm.

WHO NAMES STORMS?
Contrary to popular belief, neither the , nor the names tropical storms. That honor belongs exclusively to the World Meteorological Organization, headquartered in Switzerland.

HOW ARE THE NAMES DECIDED?
The names for the storms we see today were actually created all at once in 1979. There are six lists of names that rotate every six years. So, a used in 1979 would appear again in 1985, 1991,1997, 2003, 2009 an 2015. You’ll see that same used again in 2021. are retired if they are deadly, so you will never again see a Andrew or Katrina again. If a storm isn’t deadly though, that name just gets recycled over and over again every six years. There are also different lists for different regions.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE YEAR?
Each year, the of names is cycled through in alphabetical order, so the first storm of the season’s name will always start with an A. But, if we only get to the letter M, we don’t start over next year at N. We move on to the next . At the time of this writing it is 2017, and if you are looking for Hurricane Zelda to emerge in the Pacific, there is a chance you won’t see her in your lifetime, unless it is a particularly bad storm season.

MORE INFORMATION:  What exactly is sin?

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE RUN THROUGH ALL THE NAMES ONE YEAR?
You might think that if we went through every name A to Z on the list one year, we would just move on to the next year’s list. Not so. After we reach Z, the Greek Alphabet is used. So, you would see storms like Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and so on.

HAS THAT EVER HAPPENED?
In 2005, we got all the way to . Keep in mind, Zeta is only the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last.

Hurricane Luis (1995)” by ForceThirteen is licensed under CC BY


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